Found the perfect bride, all I need is a good location
June 7, 2006 8:39 AM   Subscribe

DCWeddingFilter: Where should we get married in the DC area?

We are getting married. Or we will when we can find a place. Our problem isn't a lack of places around DC, but a plethora of them. Please help us narrow down the possibilities to a manageable number.

We are not religious so we are going to have a civil wedding, with probably about 60 people in attendance. We would like to have a ceremony and a reception with really good food and dancing. If the weather is nice, we would like some or all of this to be outdoors or have an outdoors feel, but want protection from bad weather if needed.

We also want this to be easy. Rather than trying to assemble a wedding from parts (ceremony location, reception location, caterer, florist, linens, etc.) some place that can provide many or all of these services at once is preferable. Bonus points if there are accommodations for out of town guests nearby.

Finally, we want this to be reasonably priced. We don't mind paying for good food (say $100 per person), but would probably like to have somewhat separate ceremony and reception areas within walking distance that are not excessively priced.

So where should we be looking?
posted by procrastination to Human Relations (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Congratulations! I attended a wedding last August at the Omni Shoreham and found it lovely and outdoorsey. The wedding was outside on a tree surrounded lawn. The cocktail hour was on a lovely, nearby terrace. The reception dinner was in a small ballroom.

They have significant acreage there. We paid $120/night for an incredible, on site hotel room.

Give them a call and see what they can work with in terms of your budget.
posted by verveonica at 8:47 AM on June 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


FWIW: we got married at the Peabody Conservatory Library a few moons ago. It's jaw-dropping beautiful inside. It might be a bit big for just 60 folks. There is also the Walters Art Gallery nearby.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 8:49 AM on June 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

Exactly when? (Given your nick it should be "next week" but hey...) And if one of us suggests the place do we get invited?

I don't have any all-in-one suggestions either, but I just went to a very nice wedding that had the ceremony in a non-denominational church, of all things. It's a small, cute church building in Anandale that's pretty light on adornment (I don't think there's even a cross anywhere) but has the classic small chapel look. You rent it and it's BYOP/BYOR.

I ask about the timeframe because the reception for that wedding - and many others I have been at - was at a local park-type area and an indoor/outdoor building. Not really what you'll want in August or Jan, I think.

Anyway - the food was catered by Lebanese Taverna and excellent (as they usually are, IMHO).
posted by phearlez at 9:04 AM on June 7, 2006

Response by poster: The date is still in flux. Probably we will get married sometime in the fall if we find a place that we like that is available around then. We figure find the place first, then set the date, but think fall colors instead of blooming dogwoods.
posted by procrastination at 9:16 AM on June 7, 2006

It's "wedding week" in the Washington Post this week. You might find some good ideas here. Or in the actual wood products newspaper, even.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:17 AM on June 7, 2006

There's a place close to where I live that I see weddings all the time. It's Cabell's Mill, part of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in western Fairfax County.
If secluded, outdoorsy, and historical are adjectives you find appealing it might be a place worth checking out.
posted by forforf at 9:32 AM on June 7, 2006

The Cloisters Children's Museum and St Mary's School in Baltimore host weddings. Both are really cool, stone affairs built in the 1800s.
posted by electroboy at 9:35 AM on June 7, 2006

I've recently attended two weddings at Strong Mansion on Sugarloaf Mountain, which is about 30 minutes up I-270 from DC, off the Buckeystown/Urbana exit. Both were large, lavish affairs so I'm not sure about the financial viability of the idea, but it certainly meets your needs in terms of "beautiful location outdoors, with shelter available in the case of bad weather." Both ceremonies were held outdoors, at the top of a large hill looking down across some relatively pastoral views (trees, farmland, etc). The most recent had an outdoor dance floor set up under a tent with a live band, which takes care of dancing during the reception.
posted by Alterscape at 10:01 AM on June 7, 2006

How about Brookside Gardens in Wheaton?
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 10:03 AM on June 7, 2006

We are getting married in a couple of weeks at the Audobon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, Maryland, which has a large house called Woodend on its property. It's a beautiful site, with hiking trails, an arbor of oak trees where we're having the ceremony, and a very tranquil vibe. The "mansion" is part of the attraction, as it provides both an indoor alternative and a great place for dancing. Unfortunately, you will have to provide your own caterer, florist, cake, etc, but if you need suggestions, the site coordinator can help. (And so can many of us, I think!)
posted by leotrotsky at 10:50 AM on June 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

I went to a wedding last Halloween at Glenview Mansion and it was quite nice. I don't know if they could accommodate an "outdoors-unless" kind of situation but it was a very pretty venue for an indoor wedding.

Don't be put off by the crazy '225' number - it's a somewhat intimate kind of environ and once you set up the buffet in one room you'd be completely miserable with more than 100 people.

And based on the people I know going through wedding prep right now I think that as much as an all-in-one shop may appeal to you, you're better off with the flex of arranging venue and catering separately - the places with lock-in can have pretty insane pricing considering the quality.
posted by phearlez at 12:23 PM on June 7, 2006

Dumbarton Oaks or Tudor Place? Meadowlark Gardens? Glen Echo Park? Blob's (hee hee)? Strathmore? Kentlands Mansion? ?
posted by sandking at 12:27 PM on June 7, 2006

Best answer: We got married at Tregaron in Cleveland Park (exclusive catering by 3Citron) in February, and some friends did the same in April. We would all recommend it.
posted by mookieproof at 4:18 PM on June 7, 2006

Glenview Mansion is in Rockville, MD. Friend got married there. Garden where they had the ceremony was lovely. There were no tables for the reception, which was kind of weird. We all ate with the plates in our laps. But again, the gardens were lovely and maybe they can set out tables there.
posted by bananafish at 11:42 AM on June 10, 2006

Response by poster: We just booked at Tregaron ourselves. It took a while, so I don't know that this will ever be seen, but I love AskMeFi.
posted by procrastination at 3:49 PM on July 13, 2006

My cousin got married at Rockwood Manor in MD a few years ago, and it was lovely. there is a gazebo outside for the actual ceremony bit, and the manor has lovely rooms for the reception. I don't think it was very expensive.
posted by darsh at 12:29 PM on July 18, 2006

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